Posted by: Jennifer | January 4, 2009

Ecstasy – Jacquelyn Frank

Frank, Jacquelyn. Ecstasy. (New York: Kensington, 2009). ISBN – 9780821780701.

Main Characters: Trace and Ashla Townsend

Related Works: This is the first book in Jacquelyn Frank’s Shadowdwellers’ series. The Shadowdwellers series is an offshoot of her Nightwalkers’ series.

The Shadowdwellers:

  1. Ecstasy– story of Trace and Asha Townsend
  2. Rapture– story of Magnus and Daenaira (to be published in July 2009)

The Nightwalkers:

  1. Jacob: The Nightwalkers – the story of Jacob and Isabella
  2. Gideon: The Nightwalkers – the story of Gideon and Magdelegna
  3. Elijah: The Nightwalkers the story of Elijah and Siena, the Lycanthrope Queen
  4. Damien: The Nightwalkers –the story of Damien and Syreena
  5. Noah: The Nightwalkers – the story of Noah and Kestra Irons

Description from the book:

At one with the darkness, the mysterious Shadowdwellers must live as far from light-loving humans as possible in order to survive. Yet one damaged human woman will tempt the man behind the Shadowdweller throne into a dangerous desire . . .

Worlds coundn’t keep them apart

Among the Shadowdwellers, Trace holds power that some are willing to kill for. Without a stranger’s aid, one rival would surely have succeeded, but Trace’s brush with death is less surprising to him than his reaction to the beautiful, fragile human who heals him. By rights, Trace should hardly even register Ashla’s existence within the realm of Shadowscape, but instead he is drawn to everything about her – her innocence, her courage, and her lush, sensual heat . . .

After a terrifying car crash, Ashla Townsend wakes up to find that the bustling New York she knew is now eerie and desolate. Just when she’s convinced she’s along, Ashla is confronted by a dark warrior who draws her deeper into a world she never knew existed. The bond between Ashla and Trace is a mystery to both, but searching for answers will mean confronting long-hidden secrets, and uncovering a threat that could destroy everything Trace holds precious. . .

My Thoughts:

As a big fan of Jacquelyn Frank’s Nightwalker series, Ecstasywas on my list of books to buy as soon as it was out. I admit that I wasn’t quite sure what I would make of the book, since my reaction to the Shadowdwellers that were introduced in the Nightwalker series was mixed. They kind of remind me of ghost-type creatures – mostly because of the Shadowscape realm. This is a rather personal bias – one that doesn’t have anything specifically to do with books. I absolutely adored J.R. Ward’s book, Lover Unbound, right up until the heroine dies and becomes a ghost. I just couldn’t handle that. I have no clue why I can accept demons, vampires, werewolves, gods and other creatures, but am bothered by ghosts and those who walk in the shadows. It is odd, I know.

Interestingly, this bias made it difficult for me to get into Ecstasy. So much of the beginning of the book takes place in the bizarre Shadowscape world that exists for Shadowdwellers. I definitely put the book down several times and had to force myself to go back to it. And, I am glad that I did. Yes, I found the Shadowscape world a bit bizarre (and boy, I don’t ever want to go there), but I thoroughly enjoyed the relationship between Trace and Ashla.

In the prologue of this book, Ashla gets into a car crash. When we next see her, she is wandering around a deserted New York City. She is confused and alone. One day, she actually hears a commotion in one of the stores in which she is “shopping.” There are two men fighting – one of them is Trace. Trace is mortally wounded, and Ashla uses her healing capabilities to heal him. While Trace has to leave Shadowscape to return to Realscape and warn his people about mutiny within their ranks, he can’t stop thinking about Ashla. He returns to Shadowscape to find Ashla and finds himself caught there with her.

Shortly thereafter, we learn why Ashla is trapped in Shadowscape and why she was able to heal Trace. I do admit that I was much more into the story once Trace was able to get Ashla out of Shadowscape – since this world made much more sense to me. Their relationship also made much more sense then.

Ecstasy was a good introduction into the world of the Shadowdwellers. We met some very memorable characters: Magnus, Malaya, Guin, Tristan, Killian and others. We learned about their world: Mated pairs are Sainted; Priests have handmaidens; Shadowdwellers can succumb to euphoria if they stay too long in Shadowscape; etc. I definitely got very caught up in the subplot surrounding Magnus and his traitorous handmaiden Karri. Magnus will be the hero in the next installment of the series, Rapture. I am definitely looking forward to reading more.

Read first December 31, 2008



  1. […] Ecstasy – Jacquelyn Frank […]

  2. […] demons, lycanthropes, vampires and shadowdwellers continues to grow. I grew quite fond of Magnus in Ecstasy and felt his pain when we learned that his handmaiden was a traitor. In Rapture, he gets a new […]

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